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April 05, 1987|Devin Thomas

John Landis' Trading Places, which repeats Sunday at 9 p.m. on NBC, is a delicious variation on "The Prince and the Pauper," when for a brief, magical time, the princely are brought down and the lowly raised to fill their places. Dan Aykroyd is very nearly insufferable as a blueblood WASP merchant prince, and Eddie Murphy is a shameless con man, posing as a blind, legless Vietnam vet on wintry Philadelphia streets. Both are hilarious--especially when they end up switching lives. Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralphy Bellamy and Don Ameche co-star.

Still Crazy Like a Fox (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV movie based on the "Crazy Like a Fox" TV series. Jack Warden returns as irascible private eye Harry Fox, and John Rubinstein is again his respectable attorney son.

Daddy (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) stars Dermot Mulroney and Patricia Arquette as teen-agers unprepared to deal with their sexuality and impending parenthood.

"The Disney Sunday Movie" (ABC at 7 p.m.) is that old standby, The Parent Trap, in which Hayley Mills plays twins scheming to reunite divorced parents Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith.

The impact of the Vietnam War on American working-class lives is the great theme of Michael Cimino's 1978 multi-Oscar winner, The Deer Hunter, which airs Sunday at 6 p.m. on Channel 13.

The new TV movie Sworn to Silence (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) stars Peter Coyote and Dabney Coleman as lawyers who trigger the rage of their small-town neighbors, bent upon avenging a series of murders, when they keep the confidentiality of their client's confession.

Hard to Hold (Channel 13 Monday at 8 p.m.) is the skinny "Yes, Giorgio," for poor Rick Springfield, like Luciano Pavarotti in his benighted screen debut, is stuck playing someone close to himself in the same love-versus-career plot that has been used since the advent of sound to introduce famous singers to the screen. Springfield deserved a better shot than this dud.

Obsessive Love (CBS Tuesday at 9 p.m.), made in 1984, is a standard older woman/younger man TV suspense movie starring Yvette Mimieux as an introvert who becomes obsessed with soap opera star Simon MacCorkindale.

Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) meets Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin) in the delightful, imaginative Seven Percent Solution (Channel 5 Wednesday at 8 p.m.), and Holmes (Christopher Plummer) pursues Jack the Ripper in Murder by Decree (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.), a notion, by the way, far better developed in the less-elaborate "Study in Terror."

Broken Arrow, the fine 1959 Western starring James Stewart and Jeff Chandler, airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on Channel 11.

The 1984 TV movie remake of the 1946 Dark Mirror (ABC Friday at 9 p.m.) proves to be an awkward disappointment. Jane Seymour has been cast in the dual roles, created by Olivia De Havilland, as twins, one as deadly as the other is innocent.

The 1986 TV movie remake of Stagecoach (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.) is a respectable effort, thanks to director Ted Post's brisk pacing, but there's something perverse about lining up Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, John Schneider and Anthony Newley and then not letting them sing!

Alas, Michael Crichton's elegant period piece The Great Train Robbery (Channel 5 Saturday at 8 p.m.), starring Sean Connery and Lesley-Anne Down, is aglow with production values rather more than it is acrackle with suspenseful pacing.

The Collector (Channel 9 Saturday at 8 p.m.), William Wyler's chilling film of the John Fowles novel, stars Terence Stamp, who would collect a beautiful young woman (Samantha Eggar) as he would butterflies.

Selected evening cable fare: Back to the Future (SelecTV and Z Sunday at 7, Z Wednesday at 9, Showtime Saturday at 10); Edge of the City (Movie Channel Monday at 9); Ginger and Fred (Z Monday at 9); The King of Marvin Gardens (WGN Monday at 9:30); Crossover Dreams (Bravo Tuesday at 9:30); Wild Strawberries (Bravo Wednesday at 8:30); The Verdict (SelecTV Wednesday at 9:30); The Incredible Shrinking Man (WGN Wednesday at 9:30); The Rain People (Lifetime Thursday at 8); Young Sherlock Holmes (Movie Channel Friday at 7); Odd Man Out (Bravo Friday at 8); Mask (Cinemax Saturday at 6).

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